Saturday, October 8, 2016

But Does She Weigh the Same as a Duck, or Thoughts on Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem

The Lords of Salem (2012) is arguably Rob Zombie’s artiest film to date; moody, atmospheric, visionary, surreal, it’s a straight gothic horror movie with none of the snappy post-Tarantino dialogue and none of the retro-nostalgic thrift shop set design you’ve come to expect from his productions.  It also has Sheri Moon Zombie in a starring role as Heidi LaRoc, a Salem DJ who receives a haunted record album in the mail that she doesn’t even have to play backwards to hear the secret satanic message.
Of course she plays the record on air, which causes hallucinations of witchy forest orgies for all the Salem women who hear The Lord’s music.  Reminiscent of The Witch (2016), it’s either a portrait of a slow disintegration into madness or a possession by the old Salem witches, or a combination of the two.  With allusions to David Lynch, Roman Polanski and Francois Truffaut, this is the first Rob Zombie movie to have Sheri Moon center stage; she has to carry the whole film. 
The role isn’t demanding and to be fair Sheri Moon Zombie isn’t a great actor, but she’s supported by a fantastic cast, including Judy Geeson from To Sir With Love (1967), Dee Wallace from TheHowling (1981), Maria Conchita Alonso from The Running Man (1987), Barbara Crampton from The ReAnimator (1985) and Tim Burton’s ex-muse Lisa Marie.
Look out for Bruce Davidson from Willard (1971), but more known for his portrayal of Senator Robert Kelly in X-Men (2000) as Francis Matthaias, the Salem Witch expert and author, in addition to Rob Zombie’s usual merry band of players, including Meg Foster, Sid Haig, Ken Foree, and Udo Kier.  To date this is the only movie Rob Zombie has not set in the 70’s, but he did include The Brady Bunch’s Christopher Knight as Keith "Lobster Joe" Williams.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).